Breathing New Life into Your Twitter Feed


Breathing New Life into Your Twitter Feed - Eric Sachs SEO

So many people discount Twitter as a busy platform for socialization, rather than an important platform for marketers and businesses. They often choose to focus on Facebook and other social media outlets instead, assuming Twitter marketing is just too hard or too frustrating.

Maybe it’s the 280-character limit, or the fact that Twitter is proliferated by people under the age of 30. Or, maybe it’s just the fact that hashtag targeting can be a complex and confusing topic at first, especially if you’re just entering the game for the first time. Either way, it’s really a mistake because the platform is a gold mine when used in the right manner.

In short, Twitter is for business owners…

…But only if you’re willing to put in the work needed to use it the right way.

Have a dormant Twitter feed? Whether it is totally abandoned or you just post once in a while as an afterthought, that profile isn’t a lost cause. Here are a few ways to breathe new life into your feed and gain traction.

Tweak Your Username/Handle

Your username and handle can actually impact how and where you show up in Twitter searches. Unfortunately, silly names chosen on a whim years ago aren’t likely to get you where you need to be. Instead, you need to align it with your goals.

Make sure your Twitter account username or handle closely matches your current brand. You can change your display name as well as your @twitterhandle within your profile’s settings; don’t start a whole new account just to fix this one issue.

As for what you should pick, aim for something that really represents your brand or goals on Twitter. Make your handle and username easy to recognize and try to use the same branded keyword s across different social platforms to strengthen your brand’s presence.

Update Your Profile Photos

Photos matter, especially on sites like Twitter where character messages are so short. Be sure your profile photo is a clear representation of your brand, image, or at least products and services. If you’re a self-branded professional, this is a good place for a crisp, professional headshot or your brand’s logo. If you’re a business, a logo or a representative image (such as a shot of your location) is the better choice.

As for your header image, you have a bit more creative license there. The header image is a perfect zone for highlighting your personality or showcasing your current campaign message, and can even be a fun place to show off subtle ads. Don’t be afraid to swap this image out regularly, especially as seasons or special events happen.

Be Creative with Your Bio

Your bio needs to be short and sweet – a maximum of 160 characters or less. The overall goal is to use a few words to describe what you do, brag on an accomplishment, or just plain appeal to your audience by being relatable.

Bios don’t need to be cold and boring, even though some people think that’s the case. Unless you work in an industry where strict professionalism is preferred (e.g., healthcare, legal), it’s okay to sprinkle some humor in to keep it interesting. You can even throw in a couple of relevant hashtags to make your account more visible.

Purpose and Passion

Please don’t put your business on Twitter and then start tweeting about everything under the sun. That’s just contributing to the current problem of users feeling overwhelmed by the sheer avalanche of useless posts they filter through every single day.

Instead, make your Twitter feed a place where people can truly absorb information about your passion, services, or products. Stick to a single focus and you’ll attract more like-minded folks (read: your target audience) instead of temporary visitors who bounce away never to be seen again. It should be almost immediately clear (within two posts or less) what you’re about and why, as that’s what catches visitors and keeps them coming back.

Incorporate Hashtags

Hashtags are important on Twitter – important enough that search engines are using them in search results. There is good evidence that they may improve overall brand SEO or even bring in organic outside traffic, too, so it makes sense to use them and use them well.

That said, you do need to avoid common Twitter hashtag pitfalls. Use them carefully and sparingly; two per tweet is really enough. Long strings of hashtags begin to look spammy and can amount to a wall of text for users, but you’re also limited to 280 characters. Thus, the terms you choose need to be relevant to your brand. Don’t reuse existing popular hashtags without researching their origin and what they mean.

Tweet Often, Tweet Regularly

While it may not matter as much on your personal profile, it’s important to tweet often. Not everyone you want to reach will be online at the same time and Twitter’s feed moves very fast. The more frequently you post, the better your odds of being seen.

There are hundreds of articles and infographics that claim they know what time of day is best for posting. The reality is that you need to test different options and see which work best for your brand. Every audience and demographic slice is slightly different.

Think of it this way: white collar businesses are most likely to view posts early in the morning, at lunch, or after work. That’s because most are either sitting at a desk, commuting, or taking a lunch break at these specific times. Millennials in the entertainment industry, however, may be more likely to seek out fun at night, after they leave school or work to head home.

Experiment with morning posts, afternoon posts, and with weekend posts. Identify which schedule best boosts your CTR and push forth with that to get the most out of your efforts.

Engage with Your Followers

Want to build your brand? You need to spend more time engaging on other people’s content than you spend broadcasting your own. Participate in public conversations, take part in polls from other users, comment on the posts that show up in your feed, and generally keep your eye out for trending topics and their hashtags. Just make sure you’re participating in conversations that loosely align with your brand. Moreover, do your best to avoid anything political or controversial, because a PR disaster is not your goal.

Build Your Network

Your goal on Twitter is to increase your follower-base organically. What does that mean? Essentially, you want to attract people naturally, without paying for likes or follows, and get to a point where you attract those people residually over time.

One of the best strategies is to follow people and then watch to see who follows you back, later unfollowing those who do not return the favor. This method works well, but there is a catch. You have to remember you are limited to the amount of people you can follow. Twitter doesn’t publish its specific followers/following ratio limits, but it’s safe to say you want the numbers to be as close together as possible for continued growth.

Another great way to build your network is to offer something in exchange for the follow. For example, you might have an infographic or ebook that potential followers may find helpful. While messenger bots are typically frowned upon in terms of general use, consider using them to automatically send your free gift to a new follower right away.

Size Graphics Specifically for Twitter

Here’s an enormous social media no-no: creating graphics sized for one platform, then attempting to port them over to other platforms unadjusted. This just doesn’t work. A square graphic designed for Instagram or Facebook ends up cut off and cropped when uploaded to Twitter – not what you want or what other users want, either.

Instead, size your graphics individually for each site. Hire a designer to create a suite of branded products, use your in-house team, or save money by using a site like Canva to create your own images. Add a border and your logo; then, swap in your own unique images or quotes as your needs for branded graphics come up.

Utilize Email Notifications

Twitter has more than 20 different features you can choose from in the email notifications section of your profile. Creating a custom setting system will help you to keep track of the actions and changes that are most important to you. Use these options to your advantage and ensure you always receive the right notifications.

Here’s a quick glimpse at what you can receive notifications for:

  • Replies to your tweets
  • Mentions from other users
  • Retweets or reposts
  • New follows
  • Likes, loves, etc.

Making an impact on Twitter takes more time and effort than other platforms, but it can be a lucrative part of your marketing strategy when it’s given the focus it truly deserves. This is doubly true if your target audience is hipsters or Millennials.

Remember, it’s better to master one platform before adding a new one to the mix. You should never add a new platform until you can give it the time and attention it deserves. Make your Twitter account work for you every single day and that consistency will deliver real results.

SEO virtuoso, CEO @Sachs Marketing Group. Focused on being of service to business owners - helping to better position them in the eyes of their audiences.

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